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One day, Sammy had a birthday party.   And, on this special day a little boy came to visit.  They played together all day long.  They wore silly hats, laughed at the balloons, played with toy cars, and ate lots of birthday cake and ice cream.   Sammy was tired when the party was over, so Mommy laid him down for a nap.  And, while Sammy slept, God looked down from Heaven and watched the little boy’s dream.

   In his dream, Sammy was happy to have a friend play with him.  That’s because little boys who are handicapped don’t have many friends.  But, this friend was special, and they were having a real fun time in his dream, just like they did at the real party.  Sammy was having so much fun in his dream that, when it was over and he woke up, he began to cry.

   Mommy heard her little boy crying and came to see what was wrong.  “What’s wrong, Sammy,” Mommy asked?  There were little tears on Sammy’s cheeks.  Mommy picked her little boy up and carried him to the big rocking chair in the living room.  And, while Mommy slowly rocked, back and forth, back and forth, she wiped away the tears from Sammy’s cheeks.  This made Sammy feel much better and he stopped crying.  When Mommy asked again, “What’s wrong, Sammy?” the little boy looked up and said, “Where’s Sogo?”

   Mommy was confused.  She didn’t know what Sammy meant.  “Who is Sogo?” Mommy asked.  “Sogo,” Sammy said again.  “Sogo is my friend.”   He was the little boy Sammy had been playing with at the party and in his dream.  When Mommy understood this, she wrapped her arms around her boy and held him  closer.  She looked at Daddy and they both smiled.  But, it was a sad smile.   Mommy kept rocking, back and forth, back and forth, and as she rocked, little tears began to form in her eyes, too.

   All this time, God was watching from heaven.  God didn’t like the little tears on Sammy’s cheeks and He didn’t like the tears in Mommy’s eyes either.  No, God doesn’t like tears at all.  So, late that night, while Mommy was sleeping God put an idea in her heart.  After she woke the next morning, Mommy put her arms around Daddy and whispered in his ear.  She said she wanted to make a friend for Sammy.  And, so they did.

   Later that year, when summer was over, Mommy and Daddy went to the hospital to have their baby.  Daddy was worried, though.  He wondered if their new baby would be handicapped like Sammy was.  Mommy was thinking about the new baby, too.  But, they had been praying and trusting God all along, “Please, Jesus, make the baby strong.”  Dr. Olson said he would be very careful to make sure the baby was safe.  So, he asked some special doctors to come to the room when Mommy was ready to have her baby.

   Mommy worked very hard for a long time, and when she was done, Dr. Olson’s friends did a real good job, too.  Then, they put a little blue cap on the baby and laid in Mommy’s arms a brand new little baby boy with a very round head.  Dr. Olson smiled, and asked what the baby’s name would be.  Mommy smiled and said, “We will call him Max.”   This made Daddy smile.  Then, Daddy called everybody he knew to tell them the happy news about Sammy and Maggie’s new baby brother, Max.

   Do you remember when I said, “God doesn’t like tears, not little ones, not ones in Mommy’s eyes, no, not any tears?”  Well, it’s true.  It really is.  But, sometimes, and for very special reasons, God lets tears happen to people.  And, that’s what happened to the family that God was watching.  They were all very happy when little Max was born.  But, then something else came along and their happiness went away.  The tears came back to Mommy’s cheeks and Daddy’s eyes, too.  Even Maggie and Sammy cried when they all heard the news about little Max.

   You see, Max had to go see Dr. Olson.  And, Dr. Olson couldn’t smile that day because he had to tell Mommy and Daddy that little Max was handicapped, just like his big brother, Sammy.  I’m not sure, but I think Dr Olson cried, too.

   Mommy and Daddy took little Max home.  When they got there, Daddy said they should pray.  And, so they did.  Maggie sat real close to Mommy, who held little Max, and Sammy sat on the other side of Mommy.  Mommy tried to rock back and forth on the couch, but she couldn’t because the tears were coming.  So Daddy sat on a chair and pulled it close to his family.

    At first he tried to pray, but he couldn’t.  He had to wait until God told him to start.  You see, God wanted him to see all the tears in his family’s eyes.  And, He wanted Daddy to know that these were all very special tears to God.  And, that’s what Daddy said when he started to pray.  He told Mommy that he was sorry this had happened to little Max.  He said that God could see into her heart, and Maggie’s, and Sammy’s, and his own heart.  He said that God could see their tears and feel their sadness, because God was sad one time.  And, God even cried, too.  But, he doesn’t cry anymore, and He isn’t sad anymore, ever again.

   So, Daddy told his family that God had promised someday there would be no more tears for Max, and someday, all the sadness in Mommy’s heart would go away, forever.  In the meantime, Daddy said he loved his family and that they would always love little Max, too. And, so they did.

   It was very quiet for the longest time after the family finished praying.  God looked down from heaven and wished he could wipe their tears for the last time.  But, He couldn’t.  There was one more time to come.